I know I say this after Call To Arms
in nearly every Watch Thread, but now you should properly experience the wait for S6, hold off on watching A Time To Stand
for 3 months like we all had to first run.
Oh wait, you already have long abscenses these days. Never mind.
You're lucky I don't take another year-long gap like I did with Crusade.
Season 5 Review
I know you've been waiting on these graphs, so here's your reward for being patient:
The average score for this season is 6.808, yet another record-breaking score for a season of Star Trek, but it still doesn't beat the score I gave for season 4 of Babylon 5. The reason why is plain to see, two stalactites of suckiness that are Let He Who Is Without Sin...
and Ferengi Love Songs
. Without those episodes this would have been the highest average score I ever gave to any season, Ira Behr's love of comedy episodes seems to have scuppered DS9's last, best hope for beating Babylon 5's record. (On the plus side, DS9's overall average is now 6.221, which puts it ahead of Babylon 5's overall average for the first time.)
The trendline is pretty level, so this was a very consistent season.
As you can see from this graph, the two aforementioned bad episodes were anomalies in an otherwise excellent season. Almost all the episodes were rated above average, with a record six episodes given a rating as series classics, and this is only the second season where I rated two episodes with a score of 10 (the other being Enterprise's third season).
I rated two episodes this season below average, two were average, and twenty-two were above average.
Best episode: Call to Arms
Worst episode: Let He Who Is Without Sin...
There's two new writers this season, Bradley Thompson and David Weddle, but all their teleplay credits are together so they'll be rated as one. I'm very interested to see how they'll do in the rankings because they went on to work on Battlestar Galactica and wrote many great episodes of that show.
Ron Moore returns to the top-spot this season with an incredible score of 7.833, but Rene Echevarria isn't far behind on 7.8. That's a really strong showing for those two, they're the highest average scores achieved by any writers for a season since Jeri Taylor got 8.5 for in Voyager's first season, and she was only credited with two episodes that year. Next up is Wolfe who gets of score of 6.75 for his final season as a staff writer, although he writes one more episode as a freelancer in season 7. Thompson and Weddle are next with a score of 6.5. Ira Behr's score is 5.875 while Hans Beimler's is 5.25. Peter Allan Fields writes his final episode of DS9 which got a score of 5, which is disappointing for him.
Something unexpected happened this season with Moore actually overtaking Field's lead, which I had previously thought was insurmountable. They both have an amazing score of 7.25, but Moore is credited with more episodes so he gets a technical lead. With Fields final score now set, Moore will have to maintain this level of quality in the final two seasons to stay ahead. Echevarria is in third place with a score of 6.769, while Thompson and Weddle's debut score of 6.5 puts them in fourth. Wolfe is up next with a score of 6.187, then Behr with 5.844, then Beimler with 5.667. Piller remains in last place with an average of 5.5.
Runabouts Lost: 7 (+3)
Form of... : 31 (+3)
Wormhole in Peril: 7 (+3)
Sykonee's Counter: 34 (+15)
Stupid French Things: 4 (+1)
Season 1 Average: 5.211
Season 2 Average: 6.231
Season 3 Average: 6.192
Season 4 Average: 6.4
Season 5 Average: 6.808
Overall Average: 6.221
Voyager Average After 5 Seasons: 4.915
Enterprise Overall Average: 5.206
Babylon 5 Overall Average: 6.121
There's still much debate today about what the best season of DS9 is, but most people place season five as either their favourite or second favourite season of the show. It's easy to see why. Ignoring all the story arcs and epic plot twists season five brought, at it's core it is a very solid collection of episodes, and arguably the most consistent season of Star Trek ever. There are some weak spots, and Let He Who Is Without Sin...
is a contender for the position as one of the worst episodes of the series, but that's an exception. This season is the work of a group of writers at or near the top of their game, and that's why it might just be DS9's best, and one of Star Trek's best.
That being said, this season also makes noticeable one of DS9's biggest flaws: the fact that it's stuck between being an episodic show and a serialised one. Important storylines and character arcs rear their heads, then disappear only to surface again at a later date. By Inferno's Light
, an episode that dramatically redefined DS9's political landscape gets followed up by an episode about Bashir's hidden genetic engineering, which also suddenly disappears the following week. I understand why the show is like this, but when you compare DS9 with other serialised shows, especially the ones we get today, it comes off looking amateurish. And while some will blame the studio or Berman for these problems, I think that the writers still could have done a little more to make the show just a little less schizophrenic.
Thankfully, one thing that the show can rely on right now is the characters, at this point in the series they are all well defined and have good chemistry with one another. That's a backbone that the show needs now more than ever as they head in a new uncertain direction with the Dominion war and the loss of the station. Which character stood out the most this season? I think that Sisko gets the edge here once again, the character is the centre of the show in a way he wasn't in the early seasons. Of the extended cast, Nog has grown a lot this season and has become more interesting than some of the main cast, while the new additions to the extended cast, Martok and Weyoun, have made a strong impression. DS9 isn't content with having a cast of great characters, they insist on adding and fleshing out even more.
Now, onwards to season 6...